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How do you all answer this question to someone who (supposedly) really wants to know, but you do not know very well or are uncertain of? What is the true answer? And, how concerned with being true are you?

I think it is actually a question that I normally would want to pose to someone (not like casual every day stuff, but if I really did want to know), but I would likely restrain myself from asking because I consider it somewhat invasive (for me), although not to a lot of people, probably.

I know I overthink this kind of stuff.
 
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I answer in detail of it's someone I haven't heard from in a while, or my romantic interest, because they aren't involved in my day to day life and truly enjoy the ins and outs of my life. I go by category, though not everyone receives news on all of them, but school life, social life, progress on my goals, etc.

If I'm tired or think the details happen to be too personal, I'll just say it's a lot good happening and call it crazy. That usually suffices for them.

If I do ask this question, it's somewhat when we're deep into conversation, because I usually contact people out of the blue with a random thought, if anything. I don't really start off conversations with how are you because it feels shallow, but I will if I'm looking to catch up with a person. This is only for people who are far physically from me and I have no idea what they're up to.
 

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to someone who (supposedly) really wants to know, but you do not know very well or are uncertain of?
Depends if I am in the process of befriending this person, or if I want to keep them at arm's length.

If it's the first thing, I'll reply with a monosyllable. If I'm feeling chatty, I will even elaborate/volunteer information. I won't really believe that their question is genuine, I always think this is a canned question, a conversation starter for lazy people, UNLESS it's coming from a SO, a parents, a sibling or an aunt/uncle.
If the person is interested in me, but I'm not in them, I will say a canned reply "Good" and not make any effort to keep the conversation alive.

And, how concerned with being true are you?
Not concerned. I will lie to whoever I need to in order to keep my inner peace.
Lying is part of preserving my peace sometimes, my sense of control and self-containment.
99% of the time, when you asnwer the truth "I'm a fucking mess" the people will ask you even more questions, and it becomes a neverending conversation. I don't want to talk about it, so I lie to avoid a conversation.

I wouldn't ask this question to others as a conversation starter. Like @neutralchaotic said, I ask it when in deep conversation. Like the person will be telling me a whole story about their problem, and a lot of times I notice that they're describing the events, the "facts", the choices, the actions, the words that were spoken, etc, but they're not actually telling me how they feel about what happened. I can sense a spectrum of emotions that they exude as they talk, but my instinct is to want to take the feely worms out of the can and look at them to understand them, and from that understanding fix the outside situation if possible. So when they're finished explaining all that stuff that has to do with events and externalities, I will ask "How are you?" or "And how are you doing?" referring to their feelings or mental state.

I always start conversations going straight to bone marrow lol with a super long phrase and explanation about why I'm suddenly initiating contact.

And yes, with people I don't know well, or that I don't share much trust, if I knew for example that they're going through a divorce or something, I wouldn't ask them How are you, because it's super invasive! It's like prying ew! I don't know, it feels super yucky. I would talk about something else. And maybe eventually they want to vent to me about their situation, or volunteer information. I don't want to force them. They probably perceive my behavior as "she doesn't care". Oh well. It's obvsly not a "fact" that it's prying, it's just my own mind making meanings. For all I know, the other person could feel like asking them is a good thing. But in the face of not knowing, I choose my own meaning, because asking makes me feel really uncomfortable.
 
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"How are you" - Fine.
"How was your week?"- It was a week.
"How was your day?"- Good, yours?(Because I know you asked me so I can really just ask you)

Surprisingly I have gotten good responses with the second one lol.

Maybe it is unfair of me, but only if a person insists on know will I go into detail, it's the only way I can know they are genuine.
 

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I say "I'm alright." I always start with that.

I can't really think of how my day is or how I am when someone asks me. It just is, and I just am and was and will be. I might add that I'm looking forward to another activity later in the day. That's about it. I can't say much until we actually get into a conversation. Even in a conversation, I don't say how I am or how I'm feeling. I just don't feel the need to tell people. If I do feel the need, I'll say it, and I won't wait for someone to ask.
 

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How do you all answer this question to someone who (supposedly) really wants to know, but you do not know very well or are uncertain of? What is the true answer? And, how concerned with being true are you?

I think it is actually a question that I normally would want to pose to someone (not like casual every day stuff, but if I really did want to know), but I would likely restrain myself from asking because I consider it somewhat invasive (for me), although not to a lot of people, probably.

I know I overthink this kind of stuff.
I'm normally honest. I told someone the other day, "I don't really know how I'm doing, but I'm hopeful."
 

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I always answer this question with "good and you?"
How can I know if the person wants to know it in a serious fashion? I think that never really happened to me. Well, of course some people who asked this would be interested in it and later in the conversation I would describe to them but all in all my general feelings really are always "good" ^^

Also, I REALLY want to ask this question in a serious way to some people in my daily life because I really want to know how they feel and they should know that somebody wants to know that but I never dare it because I fear it would be inappropriate in that situation(although I do/ say a lot of things that seem to be inappripriate for other people in some situations), they would not get what I mean and understand it as it is normally asked or it would end up in another weird situation.
 

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"I am okay."

Regardless of how I am feeling, I am okay.
 

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“I’m pretty good. How about you?”

“I’m pretty good” could mean anything from “I’m dying but things could be worse” to “I’m almost on top of the world.” Plus, it doesn’t establish how you are doing mentally, physically, emotionally, or even over all. So you could feel like crap emotionally, but physically you are doing just fine. Therefore you are “pretty good.”

The “how are you” part shifts focus from you to the person asking. People love talking about themselves so if you don’t feel like talking about yourself just ask them some questions. They will forget they ever asked you anything (sometimes even if your “pretty good” isn’t convincing).
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Not concerned. I will lie to whoever I need to in order to keep my inner peace.
Lying is part of preserving my peace sometimes, my sense of control and self-containment.
99% of the time, when you asnwer the truth "I'm a fucking mess" the people will ask you even more questions, and it becomes a neverending conversation. I don't want to talk about it, so I lie to avoid a conversation.
Hahaha. I love this. This is what gives me that PAUSE for like a second. It's like hmm.. what is this person really asking me? Do they really want to know how I am? And, if so, do I really want to tell them? Should I be truthful? How much truth can they handle? How much should they handle? Often, I just say what the hell and think like an ENTP and send an unrelated emoji. :hambugler: This applies to texts and real life. Lol.
 
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Discussion Starter #11
"How are you" - Fine.
"How was your week?"- It was a week.
"How was your day?"- Good, yours?(Because I know you asked me so I can really just ask you)

Surprisingly I have gotten good responses with the second one lol.

Maybe it is unfair of me, but only if a person insists on know will I go into detail, it's the only way I can know they are genuine.
Do you want them to insist?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I say "I'm alright." I always start with that.

I can't really think of how my day is or how I am when someone asks me. It just is, and I just am and was and will be. I might add that I'm looking forward to another activity later in the day. That's about it. I can't say much until we actually get into a conversation. Even in a conversation, I don't say how I am or how I'm feeling. I just don't feel the need to tell people. If I do feel the need, I'll say it, and I won't wait for someone to ask.
"I'm alright" never really works out so well for me. It seems to always get translated to "something is wrong." It is hard to think about on the spot when someone asks me for some reason. I like what you said about it just is-am-will be.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
“I’m pretty good. How about you?”

“I’m pretty good” could mean anything from “I’m dying but things could be worse” to “I’m almost on top of the world.” Plus, it doesn’t establish how you are doing mentally, physically, emotionally, or even over all. So you could feel like crap emotionally, but physically you are doing just fine. Therefore you are “pretty good.”

The “how are you” part shifts focus from you to the person asking. People love talking about themselves so if you don’t feel like talking about yourself just ask them some questions. They will forget they ever asked you anything (sometimes even if your “pretty good” isn’t convincing).
Ambiguous. I like.

I do wonder about shifting. Like, do I really want to know or am I just asking out of formality and politeness? Sometimes I just say, "Good, thanks," and don't bother shifting it because I feel like I'd be disingenuous if I asked in return. I think I am going to start adding the "pretty" to my goodness.
 
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Do you want them to insist?
Yea sometimes, if it's someone I care to know and I want to see if they care enough to want to know. Other times I will evade and just keep on evading lol because I just think it's none of their business. I like to be in control of the distribution of my details, I am very private in that way, it is easy to feel exposed if I give my details away all willy nilly.
 

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Ambiguous. I like.

I do wonder about shifting. Like, do I really want to know or am I just asking out of formality and politeness? Sometimes I just say, "Good, thanks," and don't bother shifting it because I feel like I'd be disingenuous if I asked in return. I think I am going to start adding the "pretty" to my goodness.
Yeah, shifting isn’t something that needs to happen, but it can be helpful if you suspect that they will try to press you further. If your not a fan though just the first bit is still a big help.
 

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"I'm alright" never really works out so well for me. It seems to always get translated to "something is wrong." It is hard to think about on the spot when someone asks me for some reason. I like what you said about it just is-am-will be.
I have to nod my head and practice looking optimistic/accepting/calm when I say it. It sort of has a meditative effect on others, and I can have a silent pause before I add something else. Or maybe it's an awkward silence!!
 

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Someone I don't know well in a setting where that question is obviously just a pleasantry or greeting: "Good, how are you?" At this level I don't mind "playing games" to behave the way people expect because it's more effort than it's worth to me.
Someone I may not be fully comfortable with yet but I interact with at a deeper level: "Do you want the truth or are you just saying hi?" I'll need to get around to figuring people in this group out anyway, might as well establish it quickly. I might do this less directly though, testing the waters with both ways to answer it. Ideally I'd be honest, but I still want to avoid scaring these people off.
Someone I'm as comfortable with as I can possibly be: "Meh," or "I'm in another depression phase and everything is going to shit, how about you?" Or perhaps the person knows how much I hate small talk and wouldn't even go there to begin with.
 

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The trouble with "How are you?" is that it's the question as the beginning of a conversation. If it was generically a question in the middle of a conversation then I truly believe many questions would be answered and friendships and relationships would be stronger. That's my two pennies worth.
 

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People don't want to assume the burden of conversation. People don't care about how you're doing.
People want to raise emotions.
BUT!
They tend to suck at offering value and instead ping you in a request for value. If you assume the burden by sharing an emotionally, sensory charged story that follows the law of three, offers a situation, an interruption, and a change, you will raise their emotions, pique their interest, raise your value, reveal your personality, and potentially raise your own emotions.
Question is now, should you do it though? :laughing:

:perc2:
 
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